I didn't really plan on writing this, exactly, but I had an idea for a Warrick-drabble and it turned out well, so I ended up doing a little character piece for each member of the cast, in their proper credits order, from Grissom to Brass.  I couldn't quite trim them down to a hundred words apiece, so they're each a hundred and fifty.

Short, fun little project - - nothing too heavy or angsty here.

Oh, and I don't own CSI or the characters.  Or any of the pop culture references, unfortunately.  No profit is made - - I'm just playing in someone else's sandbox and loving it.

**

Creepy-Crawlers

Beautiful.

The rest of his team didn't understand, and how could they?  Oh, sometimes one of them would show genuine interest, but most of the time he knew that they were just trading forgiving glances behind his back.  They were blind to the delicate beauty of insects.  He was rhapsodic, on occasion, but only in his thoughts, composing lore to the curve of an exoskeleton or the perfect fulfillment of their nature.  Give him a pet hissing cockroach over a golden retriever any day of the week.

Smaller.  Didn't shed as much.  Wouldn't lick him.  The list could go on and on, but they wouldn't get it and he got sick of people asking why he didn't get himself some kind of a pet to take up space in his townhouse, so he bought a snake.

"You're cheating," Sara said.  "It's still a creepy-crawler."

Some people were hard to please.

Soccer Mom

When Eddie died, it knocked Catherine into gear.  She bought an agenda and a palm-pilot and started planning her day.  Hired a teenaged babysitter from down the street and talked to other moms to find out whether or not she was getting cheated.  She didn't want Lindsay left alone anytime soon, but the hours she worked didn't fade away.  Sometimes she felt torn between the two jobs - - mom and CSI, and she went into overtime and then stayed up when she should have been sleeping, helping her daughter with her math homework.  She baked cupcakes at three in the morning for Lindsay to take to school, and went into the lab with chocolate icing smeared over her fingers.

She didn't know what she was going to do when Lindsay started dating.

Maybe it wasn't too late for a quick conversion to Catholicism.  Her daughter could be a nun.

Dollars to Donuts

Once a gambler; always a gambler.

"All plain," Nick says.  "I'm serious, a dozen glazed.  Grissom has got to have bland taste in donuts."

Sara: "My money's on jelly."

Catherine denies participation, and Greg crosses his arms and says that he hopes Grissom bought at least a few with sprinkles and chocolate icing, and Sara pokes him in the ribs and points out that Greg's wants are awfully specific for not having made an actual request.

Warrick jots it all down and reasons out the odds.  The calculations are soothing, and besides, they're harmless.  Grissom' returns with a box of assorted pastries - - half glazed, making Nick roll his eyes, some scones, and a mix of just about every donut in existence.  Greg steals the colorful ones, and Warrick beats him to a few crullers.

It's not Sunday football and they play for nickels, but the victory is sweeter.

Pot, Meet Kettle

At first, he told himself that he was getting over Kristy.  Coming back to the girl you left and finding her dead was traumatic enough.  Add "getting accused of her murder" to the schedule, and it was really understandable that he didn't date for a while.  Then he decided that he was going to concentrate on his work.  That lasted about a year.

When Grissom looks up after his newest explanation during that typical round of coffee-conversation to Sara's inquiry as to whether or not Nick was seeing someone, and says, "You really ought to start dating again," it's the pot calling the kettle black, but it works instantly, because he suddenly sees himself as Grissom, Part Two, and the thought is frightening.

He asks out Jacqui from fingerprinting.  They go for sushi - - her choice - - and midway through the meal, he realizes that he feels happy.

Big Girls Don't Cry

Sara hated these scenes.  Being thrown into the same place, shuttered up inside with markers and scopes, going over the mattresses and sheets and figuring out where and how some girl was raped was nearly intolerable.  Instamatic empathy, and she couldn't help it.  She'd learned to turn off her emotions on the other cases, but every time she had one of the rape calls, she could help the identification.  It happened before she even knew it.

If she treated it like a mechanical process, it went easier.  Semen stain.  Photograph.  Torn sheet.  Photograph.  She tried to treat them as just pieces, and not connect them into a whole.  She could do a more complete evaluation back at the lab, away from the claustrophobic sense of pain.

But there were photographs of the girl and her clean-cut boyfriend taped to the walls, and it was just so hard to keep moving.

Killing Mockingbirds

 "Who was your role model?"

Sara is mercilessly teased when she admits she wanted to be Laura Ingalls Wilder, and Nick plays it safe with his father, which everyone agrees is a cop-out.  Catherine and Warrick are more honest, if bizarre - - the Cat in the Hat and Captain Kirk, respectively.  No one asked Grissom his own question back because they were afraid they'd get some kind of answer like "a ladybug" or "the Malaysian cricket."

"Greg?"

Come on, he coaxes himself.  Something wacky.

He fumbles mentally until he comes up with the perfect answer - - just what they'd like - - and he's all set to blurt out that he idolized Cinderella when he catches sight of Grissom's oddly intent expression and the truth falls out.

"Atticus Finch," he says.

They look at him.  It's so clearly not what they expected.

Grissom says, finally, "Book or movie?"

Gold Star

Robbins was a man who loved his work.

It didn't matter what he was piecing together or what corpse he was working on - - he usually enjoyed it.  Examining Lockwood had, admittedly, been depressing, but he liked knowing that he was helping to narrow it down.  He found the cause of death and told the people who could do something about it.  His wife usually laughed and told him that he was trying to be a weary knight with a scalpel and he had to confess that she was right.

His defense was that it also brought him closer to his own mortality.  He was getting older, and he'd thought about the old joke before - - who examines the coroner's body? - - and he'd decided the answer and started preparing for the inevitable.

David was a good man.  He'd hold the fort fine when Robbins was gone.

Like Father, Like Daughter

Brass thought about Ellie sometimes.  He didn't call his ex-wife because he didn't want her to know exactly how much he worried about their daughter, just like he never told her that he knew about her affair.  Some things could stay private.  Brass kept his secrets well enough.

When work was hard, he'd press his fingers to his eyes until spots of color bloomed in the black, and wonder if Ellie was happy, or if she'd finally found the right guy.  It hurt that he thought it was unlikely, but the dreams were good ones.  Sometimes, he even was at her wedding to give her away.

In his heart, he knew that Ellie was born to live fast and die young, and when he saw girls her age dead of overdoses or the wrong choice of a one-night stand, it was like going to her funeral over and over again.